Connectors enable substantial space savings for cable-to-board applications

28-02-2020 | Harwin | Connectors, Switches & EMECH

Harwin has extended its Gecko-SL (Screw-Lok) product range to incorporate horizontal male connectors. The Gecko range provides engineers a more compact, lightweight alternative to conventional Micro-D connectors.

Specifying the male throughboard connector at 90-degree to the PCB provides further layout flexibility to maximise space over the board. Connectors can be located at a PCB edge, routing a mated cable sideways outside the PCB stack. An important application to benefit from this connection style is CubeSats, where multiple designs comprise a series of PCBs in a dense stack, with all cabling routed into the space outside the stack. Comparable tight space restrictions occur in avionics (especially UAV design), larger satellites, defence (such as radar and portable communication equipment), robotics and motorsport.

The horizontal connectors can also be employed with female PCB connectors to provide a motherboard/daughterboard arrangement, beneficial for replacement modular PCBs or larger equipment systems.

The company's connectors are fitted with stainless steel screw-loks, designed to be Mate-Before-Lock for ease of use – just push the connectors fully together before engaging the screws. Engineers can select the standard screw-lok with board-mount (with the engaging screw on the female connector) or the reverse-fix (with the engaging screw on the male connector). Pin counts match the rest of the series, from six to 50 contacts.

The device has an operating temperature range from -65C to +150C, exhibits strong vibration (20G at 2kHz for six hours) and shock (up to 100G) resilience, and displays very low outgassing, satisfying both NASA and ESA specifications. Current rating is set at 2.8A max single contact, 2A per contact if all are loaded.

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